François Cooren

François Cooren
Université de Montréal | UdeM · Department of Communication

PhD
Professor and Department chair, Université de Montréal, Département de communication

About

167
Publications
80,067
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
7,065
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2003 - present
Université de Montréal
Position
  • Professor (Full)
August 1998 - June 2003
Albany State University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
February 1997 - August 1998
University of Cincinnati
Description
  • Research Assistant Professor
Education
September 1991 - December 1995
Université de Montréal
Field of study
  • Communication

Publications

Publications (167)
Article
Full-text available
This article is meant to initiate a dialogue with Judith Bridges about the performativity of language. By analyzing how social media users talk about what language is doing, especially when these users accuse someone of whitesplaining, mansplaining, or other forms of [X]-splai­ning, I show that they implicitly acknowledge what has been called elsew...
Preprint
Full-text available
In anthropology, a rite of passage is a process voluntarily initiated to allow an individual or a group move through a difficult stage of transformation. The liminal period is the intermediate stage of this process (Van Gennep, 1909). The idea of liminality has been widely used in the social sciences and in management. However, although it initiall...
Preprint
Full-text available
En anthropologie, un rituel de passage est un processus enclenché volontairement pour permettre à un individu ou un groupe de franchir une étape de transformation difficile. La période liminaire est l'étape intermédiaire de ce processus (Van Gennep, 1909). L'idée de liminalité a été largement mobilisée en sciences sociales et en management. Mais, a...
Article
Organization scholars have developed an extensive literature around the criteria defining what an organization is or what organized phenomena are. However, these theoretical developments do not explain how an organized form emerges, develops and eventually dies out. We propose to address to this gap by exploring what we call the basic organizing un...
Chapter
Historically, media studies and interaction studies have been estranged from each other. As John Durham Peters noted, this unfortunate situation can be traced back to the quarrel between the Sophists and Socrates, which can be summarized as the perennial opposition between the doctrine of dissemination, today represented by media studies, and the d...
Article
Full-text available
To date there has been little work that uses fine-grained interactional analyses of the in situ doing of leadership to make visible the role of non-human as well as human actants in this process. Using transcripts of naturally-occurring interaction as data, this study seeks to show how leadership is co-achieved by artefacts as an in-situ accomplish...
Article
Full-text available
Mediation is a widely used form of third-party conflict management for which research has primarily focused on the role of mediators, but how are the relations between disputing parties constituted in communication involving written texts, such as official letters or medical reports, during mediation sessions? To gain deeper insight into the commun...
Article
Full-text available
In anthropology, a rite of passage is a process voluntarily initiated to allow an individual or a group move through a difficult stage of transformation. The liminal period is the intermediate stage of this process (Van Gennep, 1909). The idea of liminality has been widely used in the social sciences and in management. However, although it initiall...
Article
Full-text available
John Durham Peters, professeur d’anglais et d’études cinématographiques et médiatiques à l’université Yale, est connu pour ses travaux sur l’histoire des médias et de la communication. Son premier livre, Speaking into the air: A history of the idea of communication, a connu un succès mondial grâce à son regard transdisciplinaire sur la soif de l’hu...
Article
Full-text available
Neo-institutional theory has recently advanced our understanding of the early phase of institutional change but presupposes contexts in which verbally and nonverbally expressing the intended institutional change within a group is already possible. We develop a process model that explains how change agents conceal and reveal their intentional work o...
Article
Full-text available
Although we have to welcome the renewed interest in socio-materiality in organization studies, I claim that we are yet to understand what taking matter seriously really means. The mistake we especially need to stop making consists of automatically associating matter to something that can be touched or seen, that is, something tangible or visible, a...
Article
Full-text available
This interview with François Cooren, professor in the Department of Communication at the Université de Montréal, discusses his best-known contribution to communication theory, his metaphor of communication as ventriloquism. According to this perspective, we all have a “capacity to make other beings say or do things while we speak, write, or, more g...
Article
Full-text available
This interview with François Cooren, professor in the Department of Communication at the Université de Montréal, discusses his best-known contribution to communication theory, his metaphor of communication as ventriloquism. According to this perspective, we all have a “capacity to make other beings say or do things while we speak, write, or, more g...
Article
Full-text available
Organizations have long been treated as stable and fixed entities, defined by concrete buildings, catchy names, and strategic goals neatly written on paper. The Communicative Constitution of Organizations (CCO) school proposes an alternative, practice-grounded conceptualization for studying organizations as emerging in communicative (inter)actions....
Article
Dialoguing is about co-orienting to various elements of a situation, that propagate themselves in what people say and do. In other words, each time people talk about an element of a situation, whether it is the weather, the economy, or the declaration of a presidential candidate, it is, by definition, a way for it to transport itself through time a...
Article
Full-text available
Bien que le lien entre organisation, culture et communication soit établi de longue date, de façon surprenante, hormis quelques exceptions, peu de chercheurs semblent avoir étudié la culture organisationnelle en train de se re-produire, à partir d’une perspective résolument communicationnelle. La plupart des études qui ont tenté de le faire se sont...
Article
This paper presents a view of interaction analysis that departs from the intersubjectivist assumptions that underlie its ethnomethodological tradition. Adopting a pragmatist perspective, we propose to treat phenomena as being composed of relations; that is, as being constituted by passing through various things and beings. Extending Latour’s work o...
Preprint
Full-text available
This paper presents a view of interaction analysis that departs from the intersubjectivist assumptions that underlie its ethnomethodological tradition. Adopting a pragmatist perspective, we propose to treat every phenomenon as being composed of relations, that is, as being constituted by passing through various things and beings. Extending Latour's...
Article
Full-text available
This article contributes to the discursive and interactional study of strategizing by drawing attention to the communicative practices through which strategy progressively materializes itself. Drawing on the interactions between the partners and members of a community-based organization participating in a strategic planning exercise, our study rev...
Chapter
Full-text available
What is responsible management? The responsible management field so far has been looking for a convergent one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Conversely, we choose to ask the grammatically incorrect, but generatively paradoxical question of "What are responsible management?" In response, this chapter features a rich potluck of six academic p...
Chapter
Full-text available
Bencherki, N., Bourgoin, A., Chen, H.-R., Cooren, F., Denault, V., & Plusquellec, P. (2019). Bodies, faces, physical space, and the materializations of authority. In N. Bencherki, F. Matte & F. Cooren (Eds.), Authority and power in social interaction: Methods and analysis (pp. 77-98). Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge.
Chapter
Full-text available
This book takes as a starting point a polemical assertion: that current literature on authority and power does not, in fact, specifically observe authority or power. This is not to say that the literature is wrong. Existing perspectives are quite correct when they provide insight on the way income, gender or racial differences are perpetuated (e.g....
Article
Full-text available
In this review essay, we explore how Luhmann's radical communication approach, which conceptualizes communication without recourse to human beings' intentions, can reorient existing research on organizational communication. We show how Luhmann's perspective puts decisions back into organizational communication studies, how it changes our perspectiv...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to extend the literature on accounting’s performativity by developing a ventriloquial perspective that directs the attention to the reciprocity between the accounting signs and the accountants: they both do things by making each other speak. This oscillation explains where accounting number’s authority, material...
Book
In our daily experiences, we feel, perceive, designate, invoke or comment on a plurality of beings: people, artifacts, technologies, institutions, projects, animals, divinities, emotions, cultures, ideologies or opinions that are part of our world. While these beings are all part of our world, they present various forms of existence. Echoing recent...
Article
Full-text available
Anchored in a ‘communication as constitutive of organization’ approach, this article aims to develop a theoretical framework for understanding the performativity of strategy through an organizational lens. We define the performativity of any form of knowledge as a communicational praxis, involving theories or ideas, actors and texts, through which...
Article
Adopting a communication as constitutive of organization (CCO) perspective on ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR) invites us to create the conditions of a dialogue, discussion, or debate between various stakeholders, who can then try to confront their respective positions on a given issue, and possibly come to a decision regarding how...
Article
In this paper, I argue that materiality and sociality should be considered essential features of everything that exists; that is, two ways by which any being gives itself to be experienced. Insisting on the sociality of anything amounts to focusing on the relations that sustain its existence and identity, while insisting on its materiality consists...
Chapter
Full-text available
Denault, V., & Cooren, F. (2018). Lawyers as ventriloquists: A contemporary approach to understanding credibility in the courtroom. In G. Tessuto, V. K. Bhatia & J. Engberg (Eds.), Frameworks for discursive actions and practices of the law (pp. 138-152). Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom: Cambridge Scholars
Article
Dans cet article, je présente le principe d’irréductibilité de Bruno Latour et je démontre dans quelle mesure cette thèse de l’irréduction amène à la défense d’une ontologie relationnelle, autrement dit, une ontologie basée sur la réalité des relations qui composent notre monde, de même que sur une conception relative et graduelle des modes d’exist...
Article
Un des principaux obstacles à l’évaluation de la créativité est que ses critères tendent à changer en fonction de ce qui est évalué et de celui ou celle qui fait l’évaluation. Dans cet article, nous avançons qu’il est possible de résoudre ce problème en adoptant une ontologie relationnelle ; c’est-à-dire une ontologie selon laquelle les êtres du mo...
Presentation
Denault, V., & Cooren, F. (2017, October). The becoming of a small claims court judgement: A ventriloquial perspective. Communication presented at the 2017 International Association for Dialogue Analysis conference, Bologna, Italy.
Book
The Work of Communication: Relational Perspectives on Working and Organizing in Contemporary Capitalism revolves around a two-part question: "What have work and organization become under contemporary capitalism-and how should organization studies approach them?" Changes in the texture of capitalism, heralded by social and organizational theorists a...
Article
In this article, we propose to mobilize a communicative constitutive approach to analyze sessions that took place in the context of online suicide prevention chats in France. By analyzing the detail of a specific excerpt, we propose, more precisely, to draw a portrait of various figures that appear to express themselves in what could be called onli...
Article
Full-text available
Résumé Lors d’un procès, les questions introductives en début d’interrogatoire peuvent aider non seulement à mettre le témoin à l’aise, mais également à le personnaliser, c’est-à-dire de le présenter sous un jour particulier, ce qui peut jouer sur sa crédibilité et l’empathie du décideur à son endroit. Cet article vise à mettre en évidence les méca...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this paper, we propose to go beyond the notion of entanglement that has been proposed in recent years to fill the so-called gap between “the social” and “the material”, especially in organizational studies. While this notion rightly invites us to reconsider the way we traditionally approach the question of materiality and organizing, we believe...
Chapter
Full-text available
Proposed in the 1980s, the idea that organizations are communicatively constituted amounts to searching in communication for the mechanisms that produce organizational forms. Communication, according to this perspective, should therefore be understood not as one variable among others, but as that which provides the building blocks that constitute o...
Article
Full-text available
In order to correct how we tend to blackbox materiality in organizational communication, we should not simply remind ourselves of the existence of a so called ‘material world’ and its effects of imbrication or entanglement with a so-called ‘social world’. On the contrary, we argue that we should take into account the material dimension of everythin...
Article
Full-text available
This is the editorial for a special issue that examined how materiality, discursivity and relationality are interrelated from a communication perspective.
Presentation
Denault, V., Cooren, F., & Plusquellec, P. (2016, June). When facial expressions and gestures speak louder than words: An interdisciplinary multimodal interaction analysis of power and authority. Communication presented at the 66th Annual preconference of the International Communication Association, Fukuoka, Japan.
Presentation
Denault, V., & Cooren, F. (2016, May). Lawyers as ventriloquists: A contemporary approach to understanding credibility in the courtroom. Communication presented at the 4th International conference of the Center for Research in Language and Law, Caserta, Italy.
Article
Full-text available
This essay aims to explore the ethical consequences of conceiving communication as a form of ventriloquism. According to this perspective, we are not the only ones speaking when we converse about the weather, give orders, apologize about something, or commit ourselves, as the very reason we feel entitled, justified or encouraged to speak comes from...
Article
Full-text available
Building on Orlikowski’s reflections on sociomateriality, this article argues that we have to stop separating the material and the social to be able to precisely account for what matters in technology adoption and use, and that one way to do this is to take people’s matters of concern seriously. This means two things: taking into account all the ma...
Article
Full-text available
Although the questions of materiality and existence are often conceived in absolute terms (something is deemed as either material/existent or immaterial/inexistent), this article defends a relational view according to which materiality and existence should rather be considered matters of degree or gradation. A world where things more or less exist...
Chapter
Cooren here applies his model of ‘ventriloquism’ to law and to the performances of legal speech, which allows him to detect the slight shifts in agency so characteristic of legal argumentation, and which helps reveal the complexity and polyphony of the apparently homophonic judicial utterance. From the Latourian notion of distributed action and the...
Article
Full-text available
In this essay, I show how the notion of ventriloquism can be used to broaden our conception of agency and understand why communication constitutes organization. I start by explaining how a ventriloqual view of agency enables us to acknowledge what human beings as well as artifacts, machines, docu- ments, and so on do. After this, I present several...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter develops a communicational approach to strategy and strategy-making as an attempt to dialogue with the Strategy-as-Practice literature and its latest development on talk and text. Based on a “communicative constitution of organization” approach (CCO), it provides a conceptual framework to define strategy-making as a series of communica...
Chapter
Any tension or contradiction that is experienced in an organizational setting can be viewed as either something to be resolved individually or as a constitutive aspect that people have to learn to deal with collaboratively (Lewis et al. Commun Monogr 77(4):460–479, 2010). In this chapter, we explore the latter perspective by showing how dealing wit...
Article
Full-text available
Analyses of embodied interaction still appear to explicitly or implicitly defend a human-centered approach to language and body in the material world. In this paper, we propose to decenter our analytical position by acknowledging what artifacts, tools and architectural elements contribute to human activities and practices. Starting from a “ventrilo...
Article
In this article, I propose to respond to Craig’s (1999) call for a dialogue between what he identified as the seven traditions in the study of communication, as well as Russill’s (2005) positioning of pragmatism as a meta-perspective on the seven others. I show that a way to respond to Craig and Russill consists of considering communication as an a...
Article
Although Bakhtin's ideas have been mainly explored in the realm of literature and linguistics, his ideas of ventriloquation and polyphony could be mobilized to study the communicative constitution of reality, more generally. Using an excerpt taken from a conversation between two administrators, we show how various forms of ventriloquism actualize t...
Article
Full-text available
The idea of the communicative constitution of organizations (CCO) has gained considerable attention in organizational communication studies. This rather heterogeneous theoretical endeavor is driven by three main schools of thought: the Montreal School of Organizational Communication, the Four-Flows Model (based on Giddens's Structuration Theory), a...
Chapter
Writing a bibliographical article on the topic of the philosophy of communication is not an easy task. The works that have been written under that umbrella range from critical assessments of media to discussions of public debate. “Philosophy of communication” combines two ambiguous disciplines, philosophy and communication. Communication is commonl...
Article
Full-text available
Tension-centered analyses are increasingly popular in organizational communication studies. Hence, how tensions emerge and are dealt with by organizational members in their work activities are key issues of debate in our field. The purpose of this article is to develop a ventriloqual approach for investigating how organizational tensions (whether e...
Article
Full-text available
How can we account for technology adoption and use within organizations without relying on preconceived notions of materiality and sociality, notions that inevitably lead us to favor either a techno-centric perspective or a human-centered perspective? In this paper, we argue that an interesting way to do this is to take seriously people's matters o...
Book
Recipient of the ‘2013 Top Edited Book Award‘, by the Organizational Communication Division of the National Communication Association (USA).
Article
This article pursues the constitutive premise of communication line of inquiry; using a space‐time perspective to examine the ways that communication is constitutive of organization. Articulating a Communicative Constitution of Organizing approach with postmodern geography theories, it proposes a concept of space as an ongoing construct of multiple...
Chapter
Full-text available
Organizations rely extensively upon a myriad of images and pictorial representations such as budgets, schedules, reports, graphs, and organizational charts to name but a few. Visual images play an integral role in the process of organizing. This volume argues that images in organizations are ‘performative’, meaning that they can be seen as performa...
Chapter
Full-text available
The so-called " linguistic turn" purportedly has allowed scholars to demonstrate why it seems so important to focus on language, discourse, and social interaction when studying organizational phenomena. However, it could be argued that it also led them to neglect some key aspects of the role material agency plays in organizational processes, a negl...
Article
The authors propose to analyze a specific period of time where people stumble and get stuck to the point that the organizational form that they founded and partly institutionalized does not seem strong enough to hold them together. This article aims to focus on the organizational dynamics, their fragility and their possible disintegration. It takes...
Article
Crises are omnipresent in the organizational world. To face these situations, organizations rely on their crisis management teams to better manage these situations. How do members of these teams succeed or fail to succeed in understanding each other and in collectively framing the crisis situation, when everyone's background differs? Based on an in...
Article
In this article, I first propose to reinterpret R. T. Craig's (1999) call for a dialogue between communication perspectives as a formulation of design specs to which any constitutive model of communication should respond. I then propose to answer this call by metaphorically conceiving of communication as a form of ventriloquism, which translates ou...
Article
Full-text available
How does an organization act? Can it be considered an actor on its own or does it need organizational members who act on its behalf? We would like to suggest our own take on the issue by suggesting a genuinely communicative approach to the issue of organizational action. Using the narratology of AJ Greimas to make apparent in talk some of process p...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides an overview of previous work that has explored the processes and mechanisms by which communication constitutes organizing (as ongoing efforts at coordination and control of activity and knowledge) and organizations (as collective actors that are 'talked' into existence). We highlight differences between existing theories and ana...
Article
Full-text available
Concerns for organizational identification (OI) are recurrent in organizational communication research. However, few studies show how this process unfolds during everyday interactions. To address this issue, OI is conceived in this article as a process of “consubstantialization” that plays a central role in the coproduction of an organization’s sub...
Article
This introduction to the special forum on organizational communication in France presents the five articles featured by this forum as well as the general context of this subfield of communication studies in France. It is first pointed out that the vast majority of French communication researchers still publish exclusively in French, a situation who...
Article
Full-text available
Ventriloquism, performativity and communication This article introduces the notion of ventriloquism, metaphorically conceived of as the process through which interlocutors animate their figures (the term that ventriloquists use to refer to their dummies) or make them talk. These same figures are likewise supposed to animate the interlocutors in sit...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes to explore the mechanisms by which speaking, writing and, more generally, interacting pragmatically contribute to the mode of being and acting of social forms, whether these forms be identities, relations or collectives. Such an approach to pragmatics, which we propose to call constitutive, amounts to showing, both theoretically...
Book
What happens when people communicate or dialogue with each other? This is the daunting question that this book proposes to address by starting from a controversial hypothesis: What if human interactants were not the only ones to be considered, paraphrasing Austin (1962), as “doing things with words”? That is, what if other “things” could also be gr...
Article
Full-text available
To what extent can we claim that texts write organizations ? This article first shows that an organization is embodied in a set of textual, human, architectural or technological figures. The organizational world should thus be considered a plural world, not reducible to its communicational enactment. Textual agency must thus be understood as the me...
Article
Full-text available
In proposing a next step in loosening the restriction of action to humans, this paper explores what we call the agency of attitudes and especially the ethical and practical questions that such recognition should entail. In line with Actor-Network Theory, we suggest that attitudes, passions and emotions can be seen to have agency in a similar vein a...
Article
Full-text available
To be a discipline, communication studies must both focus on communicational objects while developing original approaches that distinguish them from other more established disciplines. In order to elaborate on this thesis, I propose to first mobilize Robert T. Craig’s constitutive metamodel. Second, I show to what extent the development of a metamo...
Article
Full-text available
Lorsque deux personnes interagissent, leurs relations ne se réduisent pas aux aspects visibles et individuels des échanges. Quand deux diplomates négocient, ils représentent leurs pays, au nom desquels ils avancent des propositions, affirment des prétentions : tels des ventriloques, ils font parler des êtres que l’on pourrait croire inanimés. Récip...

Projects

Projects (11)